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German-Israeli Frontiers of the Humanities Symposium – GISFOH

The collaboration agreement signed in 2009 between the Israel Academy and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany gave rise to the annual German-Israeli Frontiers of the Humanities Symposium (GISFOH), a multidisciplinary binational conference in the humanities. About fifty young Israeli and German researchers participate each year in these conferences, held alternately in Israel and in Germany. Four Israeli researchers and four German researchers are selected each year from four different fields in the humanities and social sciences, and they serve together as the organizing committee for the upcoming conference.
 
The conferences aim to bring together outstanding young researchers from various disciplines and challenge them to think and investigate beyond the bounds of their particular field of knowledge. The goal is to facilitate cross-pollination and create a channel for the exchange of academic knowledge.
 
The agreement signed with the Academy ushered Israel into an elite and prestigious cadre of countries. To date, the German foundation has signed similar agreements with the United States in the humanities, natural sciences and engineering; with Brazil in the fields of science and technology; with Britain, Japan and China in the natural sciences; with India in engineering; and with Turkey in the humanities. Israel Academy Member Professor Margalit Finkelberg coordinates the project on behalf of the Academy.
 
To encourage collaboration in the wake of the GISFOH conferences, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation established the Connect program to support joint ventures by researchers who meet at the conferences. So far, nearly fifty joint ventures have received support.
 
The 11th conference, held in November 2019 at the Academy, was on the topic of “Positioning Self and Society.” The Israeli members of the organizing committee were Dr. Nira Alperson-Afil (Prehistoric Archeology), Dr. Tawfiq Da’adli (History of Islamic Art), Dr. Ori Sela (East Asian Studies) and Dr. Halleli Pinson (Education).
 
 
The 10th conference – November 2018 in Berlin, Germany
Cultural Encounters: Translation, Transformation, Tension
Israeli members of the organizing committee:
Dr. Moshe Blidstein (Comparative Religion)
Dr. Uri Gabbay (Ancient Near Eastern Studies)
Dr. Orit Gazit (Sociology)
Dr. Yael Sternhell (American History)
 
 
The 9th conference – September 2017 in Kibbutz Ma’alei Hahamisha, near Jerusalem
Israeli members of the organizing committee:
Dr. Iris Idelson-Shein (History)
Dr. Arin Salamah-Qudsi (Arabic Language and Literature)
Dr. David Rotman (Hebrew Literature)
Dr. Sinai Rusinek (Digital Humanities)
 
The 8th conference – September 2016 in Potsdam, Germany
Israeli members of the organizing committee:
Dr. Ariadne Konstantinou (Literature and Classical Studies)
Dr. Inna Leykin (Russian Studies)
Dr. Amit Pinchevsky (Communications and Media)
Dr. Sagi Shefer (Contemporary History)
 
 
The 7th conference – October 2015 in Kibbutz Tzuba, near Jerusalem
Israeli members of the organizing committee:
Dr. Dalit Assouline (Linguistics)
Dr. Naama Cohen-Hanegbi (Medieval History)
Dr. Tali Hatuka (Urban Studies)
Dr. Liat Kozma (Gender Studies)
 
The 6th conference – September 2014 in Potsdam, Germany
Israeli members of the organizing committee:
Dr. Ruth Ginio (African Studies)
Dr. Inbal Ofer (Social History)
Dr. Noam Reisner (English Literature)
Dr. Noam Yuran (Philosophy)
 
 
The 5th conference – September-October 2013 in Kibbutz Tzuba
Israeli members of the organizing committee:
Dr. Raz Chen-Morris (History of Science)
Dr. Tal Gilead (Education)
Dr. Claudia Kedar (Iberian Studies)
Dr. Dana Olmert (Comparative Literature)
 
 
The 4th conference – September 2012 in Potsdam, Germany
Israeli members of the organizing committee:
Dr. Sharon Aronson-Lehavi (Theater Studies)
Dr. Orna Naftali (East Asian Studies)
Dr. Galit Noga-Banai (History of Art)
Dr. Nurit Stadler (Social Anthropology)
 
 
The 3rd conference – November 2011 in Kibbutz Tzuba
Israeli members of the organizing committee:
Dr. Yuval Eylon (Philosophy)
Dr. Avraham Faust (Archeology)
Dr. Yossi Maurey (Musicology)
Dr. Dmitri Shumsky (Modern History)
 
 
The 2nd conference – October 2010 in Potsdam, Germany
Israeli members of the organizing committee:
Dr. Tamar Hess (Literature)
Dr. Rami Reiner (Religious Studies)
Dr. Andrea Rotstein (Classical Studies)
Dr. Zur Shalev (History)
 
 
The 1st conference – December 2009 in Kibbutz Tzuba
Israeli members of the organizing committee:
Prof. Michal Biran (Islamic Studies)
Prof. Orna Harari (Greek Philosophy)
Dr. Eran Neuman (Architecture)
Dr. Diego Olstein (History)